Porous Torsion is the collaborative project of Diana Salazar (laptop/controllers) and John Ferguson (electric guitar/laptop/controllers). This duo’s collaborative practice involves a process of filtering and restraining semi-autonomous and chaotic agents (of human, electromechanical, and computational origin); notions of: touching at distance, negotiating inertias, setting processes in motion, and intervening within established trajectories, all inform their approach to “control”. Although understandings of “interface” and “instrument” are seemingly quite different for each performer, John and Diana’s integrated approach creates a rich musical language that draws upon traditional notions of physical causality in performance alongside more unpredictable relationships constructed via auditory gesture.
John’s main instrument is “Machine-Assembled Dislocation”, a hybrid performance ecology that utilises Nintendo Wii Remotes and pressure sensitive foot pedals to extend an electric guitar using laptop processing. Although celebrating the absence of tactile feedback that is offered by “open-air” controllers, the tactile responsiveness of the guitar remains at the foreground, which makes correlation between physical and auditory gesture somewhat inconsistent (this he finds productive). Diana’s focus in on laptop performance and live sampling using Max/MSP, her work identifies tensions between pre-composed sound materials and real-time sampling, tactile and virtual interfaces, and the programming of control parameters to create a suitably flexible instrument for collaborative performance.